Background The difference in clinical outcomes after endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) and endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) for early Barrett's esophagus (BE) neoplasia remains unclear. We compared the recurrence/residual tissue rates, resection outcomes, and adverse events after ESD and EMR for early BE neoplasia. Methods We included patients who underwent EMR or ESD for BE-associated high grade dysplasia (HGD) or T1a esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) at eight academic hospitals. We compared demographic, procedural, and histologic characteristics, and follow-up data. A time-to-event analysis was performed to evaluate recurrence/residual disease and a Kaplan-Meier curve was used to compare the groups. Results 243 patients (150 EMR; 93 ESD) were included. EMR had lower en bloc (43 % vs. 89 %; P < 0.001) and R0 (56 % vs. 73 %; P = 0.01) rates than ESD. There was no difference in the rates of perforation (0.7 % vs. 0; P > 0.99), early bleeding (0.7 % vs. 1 %; P > 0.99), delayed bleeding (3.3 % vs. 2.1 %; P = 0.71), and stricture (10 % vs. 16 %; P = 0.16) between EMR and ESD. Patients with non-curative resections who underwent further therapy were excluded from the recurrence analysis. Recurrent/residual disease was 31.4 % [44/140] for EMR and 3.5 % [3/85] for ESD during a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 15.5 (6.75-30) and 8 (2-18) months, respectively. Recurrence-/residual disease-free survival was significantly higher in the ESD group. More patients required additional endoscopic resection procedures to treat recurrent/residual disease after EMR (EMR 24.2 % vs. ESD 3.5 %; P < 0.001). Conclusions ESD is safe and results in more definitive treatment of early BE neoplasia, with significantly lower recurrence/residual disease rates and less need for repeat endoscopic treatments than with EMR.
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